Twelve Review

“No one needs anything here. It’s all about want.” One of the few phrases that actually reminds you that the movie is supposed to be a film adaptation to Nick McDonell’s book Twelve which was released in 2002, the thing that gave the book its great fame is that McDonell  was only 17 years old when he wrote it. Which figures actually his familiarity with the privileged urban adolescents on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the problem is the director Joel Schumacher is at the other end of the age spectrum. The book is a perfect screenplay in itself it didn’t need much tampering with at all.  To put it in simpler terms who read the book would be disgusted by the movie.

Ok now as I portray this movie for you I am gonna steal Stephen Whitty’s comment on the movie think of it as “Gossip Girl Gone Wild.”. Gotta love Whitty he never gets stuck on a phrase. Spoiled teenagers home from boarding school with money to burn wh

o discover in the end that money doesn’t buy love and twelve the featured drug in the movie that’s a mix of cocaine and ecstasy doesn’t really bring any real “ecstasy”. White Mike (Chance Crawford) a good kid who had it all then life just took a wrong turn with him when his mum got sick with cancer after her death he dropped out of his senior year in high school and started a career as a drug dealer selling drugs to his friends and specializing in marijuana. The only contact left he has with his old life is his childhood friend Molly (Emma Roberts). The thing is White Mike never did drugs himself he just sold them. When he’s not answering his cell to serve potential customers, White Mike stands on rooftops and looks pensive while a faux-poetic Kiefer Sutherland narrates the teenager’s thoughts, which are mostly about his dead mother. My point is it’s nice to read about a lost kid who is a link between two worlds in a book but on screen with one scene somewhere and the other somewhere else and the narrator’s voice distracting you and not allowing you to focus with the character it’s just downright confusing.

Now bear with me here as this going to get very complicated it’s like a mad house of every kind of category of bad kids you ever came across. Twelve has it all people. The hot manipulative cuckoo diva Sarah Ludlow (Esti Ginsburg). The stupid airheads who follow the diva around Shelly and Gabby (Chanel Farrel and Zoë Kravitz). The flashy male model who ignores the diva and who she tries to get attention from Tobias (Nico Tortorella). The rich nerd who wants sex so he is manipulated by the hot diva Chris Kenton (Rory Culkin). The fashion freak Rory De Wellon Frowick ( Liam Mcmullan). The addicted chick with puffed eyes that trades drugs for sex Jessica Brayson (Emily Meade). The little kid who got himself killed because he couldn’t pay for his drugs Charlie (Jeremy Allen White). The murderous drug dealer who killed the little kid Lionel (Curtis Jackson). Finally if all that’s not enough the gun psychopath Claude Kenton (Billy Magnussen). Ok whats next fireworks and an elephant rampaging in. This a circus not a movie. Which is one of the main problems of the movie way too many characters. The thing is a book is allowed to have too many characters because its 350 pages but the movie is a 117 minutes is just not enough time to fully develop them all. The only person we truly get to know is White Mike (Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford), and it’s a little too much. Mike is the guy who connects all of the other characters, but he’s rather dull. Schumacher’s attempt to liven him up through spiritual moments and giving us a look inside his troubled soul just didn’t work for me.

The second issue is the narration. Kiefer Sutherland’s voice is very strong and at times extremely distracting it’s like he’s jumping to the conclusion without giving you the chance to enjoy the movie unfolding itself. If you tell me, he has to that because the movie is short and it’s necessary to give the audience back up stories on all the characters. I would just say well that’s still his problem why in god’s name are there so many characters?

The last thing is the end it was so damn predictable. You could see it a mile away. It was also a huge disappointment to anyone who read the book, which was extremely gripping and had you on the edge of your seat till the very last page.

Overall as you might have already guessed the movie was a total waste to a lovely Saturday evening. The reality it was trying to reflect was extremely exaggerated, and it was real bad publicity to the book it was supposed to be an adaptation of. My advice will be people go buy the original novel and enjoy a well-earned Saturday evening in bed with a cup of hot chocolate. I mean if you already went through the agony of watching the movie, you owe it to yourself to do just that.

Marwa Arafa



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